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21 Jun 2024 9:46
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  •   Home > News > International

    Cassie urges supporters to believe victims 'the first time' following release of security footage depicting Sean 'Diddy' Combs assault

    Singer Cassie has issued her first public statement since CNN broadcast CCTV footage showing her being assaulted by rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs at a hotel. In an Instagram post, Cassie thanks her supporters and urges people to believe victims of domestic violence when they speak out.

    Singer Casandra Ventura Fine, known professionally as Cassie, has thanked those who have publicly supported her since a CCTV video that appears to show her being violently assaulted by her then partner, music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs, began circulating online after first being broadcast by CNN.

    "Thank you for all the love and support from my family, friends, strangers and those I have yet to meet," Cassie writes in an Instagram post.

    "The outpouring of love has created a place for my younger self to settle and feel safe now, but this is only the beginning."

    The 2016 surveillance footage depicts Cassie walking down a hotel hallway in obvious distress, before Combs is seen pursuing her.

    He then grabs her and throws her to the ground, kicking her twice, before dragging her by the arm along the floor.

    The edited footage later shows Combs throwing a glass object.

    "Domestic Violence is THE issue," Cassie wrote in her post.

    "It broke me down to someone I never thought I would become.

    "With a lot of hard work, I am better today, but I will always be recovering from my past.

    "Thank you to everyone that has taken the time to take this matter seriously.

    "My only ask is that EVERYONE open your heart to believing victims for the first time.

    "It takes a lot of heart to tell the truth out of a situation that you were powerless in."

    In a civil case filed in November last year that was settled a day later, Cassie sued Combs alleging repeated abuse, including rape and physical assault.

    Similar lawsuits have since been filed by others.

    The court documents filed by Cassie outline an incident at the InterContinental Century City hotel in which Cassie claims Combs "became extremely intoxicated" and punched her in the face, giving her a black eye.

    The lawsuit states that after he fell asleep, Cassie tried to leave the hotel room, but as she exited Combs woke up and pursued her, throwing glass vases in the hallway at her.

    The court documents state that Combs paid $US50,000 ($75,000) for the hallway security footage.

    In a December 2023 social media post, Combs denied the claims in the lawsuit, but earlier this week, after the security footage leaked, he issued an apology, posting a video to Instagram on Sunday night local time with a caption stating he was "truly sorry".

    "I was f***** up," he said on the video.

    "I mean I hit rock bottom. But I make no excuses. My behaviour on that video is inexcusable.

    "I take full responsibility for my actions in that video.

    "I'm disgusted. I was disgusted then when I did it, I'm disgusted now.

    "I went and I sought out professional help. I got into going to therapy, going to rehab.

    "I'm so sorry. But I'm committed to being a better man each and every day."

    In a statement sent afterwards to ABC News, Cassie's lawyer Meredith Firetog, Partner at Wigdor LLP, said his apology was disingenuous.

    "Combs's most recent statement is more about himself than the many people he has hurt," she said.

    "When Cassie and multiple other women came forward, he denied everything and suggested that his victims were looking for a payday.

    "That he was only compelled to 'apologise' once his repeated denials were proven false shows his pathetic desperation, and no-one will be swayed by his disingenuous words."

    Cassie has appealed to her fans to show support to people in their own communities who are victims of domestic violence.

    "I offer my hand to those that are still living in fear," she wrote.

    "Reach out to your people, don't cut them off. No one should carry this weight alone.

    "The healing journey is never ending, but this support means everything to me. Thank you."

    Reactions to her post included prayer hands and heart emojis from singer Kelly Rowland, and actor Taraji P Henson and singer and actor Chloe Bailey posted: "We love you so much Cassie," with a heart emoji.

    Combs reportedly won't be charged for the hotel assault with the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office explaining it won't pursue a case because the incident appears to fall outside California's five-year statute of limitations.

    Combs has been hit with a new federal lawsuit this week, with model Crystal McKinney accusing him of sexual assault.

    Federal agents raided Combs's homes in March as part of a sex-trafficking investigation. Combs was not arrested, with his lawyer saying at the time that he cooperated with authorities.

    © 2024 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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